Thoughts on day two of the draft

April 29th, 2011 | Written by Kip Earlywine

So easy even a caveman can do it

Posted by Kip Earlywine

Before anyone over-reacts to how the Seahawks draft has gone so far, lets remember two things:

(1)  Seattle picked near the end of each round this year and only had 1 pick in rounds 3-4 at the start of this thing.  If you whipped out the NFL draft chart and added up the total points we started with, we’d probably be bottom five this year in terms of total draft stock.  As such, we needed luck on our side if we wanted another draft that pundits would fawn over.

(2)  Those lucky breaks didn’t happen.  Holy hell has the draft board not fallen our way this year.  Cameron Jordan going right in front of us at #24.  Rodney Hudson was taken two picks before ours at #55.  Between our newly acquired mid-3rd rounder and our early 4th, four DTs have left the board:  Casey, Nevis, Ellis, and Fua.  Even Ryan Mallett was taken right in front of us at #74, although its pretty unlikely Seattle would have taken Mallett at #75 anyway.

Other than possibly Mark Ingram, an obvious pick didn’t exist at #25.  There was no obvious value pick at #57 and I absolutely think Seattle did the right thing moving down to pick up an extra mid-4th.  Pretty much every offensive and defensive lineman they would have considered at #57 was still there at #75.  An obvious move but a great one nonetheless.  Seattle got lemons this year, and is making lemonade as best they can.

If nothing else, I know some people, including Rob, might raise some eyebrows seeing that through 3 rounds, Seattle hasn’t selected a single non-offensive lineman.  This isn’t a random happening though- John Schneider and Pete Carroll have a plan and they are executing it by bringing in players like Carpenter and Moffitt.  Carpenter has the flexibility to play four spots, but my early impression is that he’s best suited at left guard and could be every bit the left guard Rob Sims was, another guard who converted from tackle.  Carpenter can also play either tackle spot if Andrews doesn’t pan out or if Okung gets hurt again.  Moffitt is a pure right guard in my opinion, but from what I’ve seen he looks very strong though unrefined (lack of leverage and technique saps his power a bit) and could be an asset in the running game with some improvements.

Seattle is banking on fixing the running game and they wanted the running game fixed LAST YEAR, which is why they made bold moves like drafting Russell Okung 6th overall, signing Alex Gibbs, and trading for Marshawn Lynch, Leon Washington, and Stacy Andrews.   This front office is in a hurry to build a good running game and I say good for them for being so aggressive about continuing that effort, because if the team commits to running the football next year and the blocking and running still sucks, the Seahawks are going to be in a world of hurt.  They’ll run themselves all the way to a 3-13 record.

Now, if Seattle was passing on guys like Jake Locker or Cameron Jordan at #25 or Brooks Reed/Ras I Dowling at #57 to make moves like these- I wouldn’t be pleased.  But those players didn’t last that long, and except for Jordan, none of them even came close.

I feel neutral about the Moffitt pick.  Remember, its a 3rd round pick and the 3rd round is where picks become much riskier.  Moffitt seems like a safe pick to me if all you want is a good run blocker who can start immediately.  Not jazzed about this pick, but I like it- its a solid pick with good value and it falls within this front offices stated plan.  And as said before, there were no obvious alternative options that were superior.

Other teams in round 2-3:

  • The patriots and Browns are my draft winners so far.  Nate Solder was a bad pick at #17, but Dowling was a good pick later on and Mallett is the biggest steal of the draft.  Sandwiched in between those are two young running backs to help New England get younger.  New England also added a 2012 1st and 2nd while doing this.  This could very easily end up as Belichick’s best draft ever.
  • The Browns of course committed highway robbery with the Falcons on day 1, and since then have added Phil Taylor, Jabaal Sheard, and a WR I’m a big fan of, Greg Little.
  • Best pick of the day had to be the Bengals taking Andy Dalton.  It was doubly awesome since it not only took Dalton off the board to prevent the Seahawks from harming themselves by picking him, but it also made trading for Carson Palmer easier to do later.
  • The next pick was the worst, seeing the 49ers make a savvy deal to move up on the cheap for Colin Kaepernick.  As much as I like Kaepernick, I was a little surprised to see the 49ers go get him, because Kaepernick has a lot of similarities to Alex Smith coming out of college.  Both have lanky builds, played in similar conferences against similar competition and had similar offenses, both were fast guys with good arms, great character, and high intelligence.  Obviously, they didn’t take Kaepernick 1st overall and perhaps the coaching is more competent this go-around, and Kaepernick was probably more of a playmaker than Smith where as Smith was more of a pure passer.  So its not like Kaepernick is a Smith clone or anything, they just have a lot of similar features.  It will be very interesting to watch how he develops over there.  Of course, we all want him to fail miserably now, but if he fails miserably, that paints our front office in a poor light for liking him so much.  So its tough.
  • Marvin Austin almost reached Seattle’s 2nd pick, just like I thought he would all along.

On the whole, I found rounds 2-3 to be remarkably predictable after a wild day 1.

For those watching near the end of NFL network’s coverage today, they interviewed Pete Carroll and asked him some typical softball questions.  Carroll did say something that I thought was very revealing though during that interview, noting that his goal tomorrow is to “get faster-” a very obvious hint that the team will be looking at speed positions like corner, receiver, safety, and perhaps defensive end.  Unfortuantely, we saw both Marsh and Van Dyke come off the board at the very end of round 3 and those were the speedy corners Seattle was known to be targeting in the mid-rounds.  So unfortunately I can’t give any obvious suggestions here.

Every single player that I listed on my “players to watch at #57″ is off the board.  Edmond Gates out of Abilene Christian could be a potential small school target.  He’s 6 feet tall and dominated the combine with his athleticism, including a 4.35 forty time.  Denarius Moore and Niles Paul are similar size/speed options.  Given my track record with throwing names out there, I probably just jinxed those three guys.

There are still plenty of size/speed corners available.  I can’t speak to their football ability, but I trust this front office has done its homework and when Pete Carroll talked about getting faster, I’m sure he had some guys in mind, perhaps corner AND strong safety.

If Seattle feels like adding a 3rd lineman, Lee Ziemba is still out there and it wouldn’t shock me if Seattle selected him at either of their 4th round selections.

And lets not forget, Ricky Stanzi is still out there.  If he’s still there in the 5th round, Seattle should seriously consider selecting him.  Mitch Mustain could also get some consideration in round 7.

The Seahawks are “loaded” on day 3, owning 7 picks tomorrow.  This is where all that hard work scouting the last 12 months pays off.

28 Responses to “Thoughts on day two of the draft”

  1. Charlie says:

    Taiwan Jones possibly??

    • Derek says:

      I do think think they need to take a RB at some point in this draft. Lynch and Forsett are not the long term answer at the position. Lynch will be in a contract year next year and his style of play doesn’t coincide with a long career at the position. I really hope they get a guy like Jaquizz Rodgers or Taiwan Jones.

      • Charlie says:

        Quizz rodgers is such a stud for 5-5. He cuts like barry sanders, just doesnt have the same speed

  2. Derek says:

    I think a speedy WR would be most likely. That is something are offense really lacks. Unless they see that in Golden Tate.

  3. jhs says:

    Chimdi Chekwa CB Ohio State and Sam Acho DE from Texas could be there these two have real nice speed for there positions.

  4. seasalt says:

    BALLARD, HOUSE, CHEKWA and GATES are still on the board. As is Carter from Oklahoma. Go Hawks!!!!

  5. volsunghawk says:

    Kip, when you said, “there were no obvious alternative options that were superior,” that’s been my feeling about this entire draft. In previous years, there have been players I’ve fallen in love with… guys who I just knew would be stars that Seattle should go and get.

    I just haven’t had that feeling from anyone in this year’s draft – at least not anyone that would have made it to our 1st round pick. And so I keep coming back to the question, “If not Carpenter (or Moffitt), then who?” while trying to bear in mind Seattle’s clearly stated desire for both a strong running game and a mobile QB.

    Carpenter and Moffitt are certainly not sexy picks, and I know there’s a lot of rending of garments and tearing out of hair over them, but I can’t get all bothered over them because I didn’t see any really better options for what the Seahawks are trying to do.

    • Kip Earlywine says:

      I agree completely. Granted, last year was a deeper draft, but I remember feeling excited about players still left on the board all the way until the late 5th round. Bruce Campbell was one of my favorite tackles, and he lasted to the 4th. One of my favorite safeties, who I would have happily taken at #60, was selected early in the 6th.

      By contrast, this year, all the players I was excited about were completely gone by the mid-2nd, and the last of the “intriguing” players came off the board at the end of the 3rd. There really isn’t a single prospect left that I’m pining for tomorrow, and I’m just going to put faith in the idea that the FO feels differently and still has a few guys they’d love to get.

      #25 and #57 specifically, I just didn’t feel there was an obvious option. I normally hate seeing my team trade down. Who likes waiting? But for maybe the first time ever, I was seriously bummed when Seattle couldn’t trade at #25 and very happy when they did trade at #57.

  6. amattson says:

    I’m really hoping for Ballard DE LSU with #99 (gotta go with him if we’re thinking D-limeman – he’s the last one!) and then House CB NMSU with #107. Both could contribute right away. What do you guys think?

  7. Rob, the rationalization machine is already pumping up next year’s QB class. What do you think?

    http://www.seahawks.net/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=31304

    http://www.seahawks.net/viewtopic.php?f=18&t=31265&p=383278

  8. Ed says:

    agreed. ballard at 99 and burton/house/brown (cb) at 107. in 5th rd bpa

  9. amattson says:

    In round 5, I’m hoping for Sands S WVU (hope he’s not picked yet), DJ Williams TE Arkansas. In round 6, Shorts WR Mt. Union (go check this guys numbers) and then just fill in for depth in the last couple picks. If we could get these guys at these picks, I’d be pumped! Should be the best day to watch the draft yet for a Hawks fan! Go Hawks!!

  10. Stevo says:

    I don’t find much to agree with in this article. The Seahawks did not pick Carpenter at #25 to be a guard. The guy was All-SEC at LT and he will be the starting RT in Seattle. They could have traded out of the 25 spot had they not wanted Carpenter. Tom Cable wanted Carpenter.

    As for Moffitt, the Seahawks were ecstatic to get him. He’ll start at OG. Tom Cable called this a “dream scenario” to get these two guys to build around, and Cable is not a B.S’er. The Seahawks think they did much better than you did, Kip.

    • Kip Earlywine says:

      They are saying that Carpenter is a tackle for now but that won’t actually be determined until the preseason. Stacy Andrews was once a pretty good right tackle, and coaches usually prefer veterans. Carpenter is capable of playing either tackle spot, but his waste-bending tendencies, so-so arms, and so-so feet clearly spell out a much brighter future if moved inside. He can be a solid right tackle, but he might be a pro-bowl guard. On the ESPN broadcast, they actually listed him as a guard even though he played left tackle for Alabama.

      I don’t doubt that Seattle was happy to get Moffitt- he was a solid value for a mid-3rd.

      As far as Cable’s comments he’s just saying what every coach says. Two years ago Aaron Curry was Tim Ruskell’s dream scenario.

  11. seatle says:

    Thanks for the rundown, Kip. Indeed there were some breaks that didn’t come our way, but it looks like we were staring at them so hard we missed the ones that did. Forgive the forthcoming pessimistic take. I am extremely disappointed, even though I think our picks could both turn out well.

    When I hear “make lemons out of lemonade,” I think “do the best with the opportunities you are presented, and don’t insist on the ones you had hoped would be there.” From what I can tell, this is the opposite of what we did: we wanted an OL from the start, and Pouncey and Watkins were picked, and we had to have OL right now no matter what, preferably after trading down no matter what, and then we couldn’t, presumably because we weren’t offered much, and we weren’t offered much because Pete and John announced to the world they were desperate to trade down. This is not a good negotiation philosophy. They also did not feign any interest in Ingram, whom many analysts forecasted could be there, and were just too transparent in terms of who and what they wanted, imo.

    So our pick came and Smith was there, not only an extraordinary value at 25 but a huge need at CB. On the field he’s probably a 7- or an 8-value, and his off-the-field incidents drop him 20 spots? He should have been gone in the mid-teens. Instead we pick Carpenter, probably a 35 or 40 value and a position that can be easily and cheaply filled in free agency or later rounds. If you want “low floor”, free agents have records of their pro performance. This was strictly a “need” pick, but for a need that was foolishly elevated over other, harder-to-fill needs, to the point that it was all that mattered.

    And then the end of the 2nd, probably the best QB this year drops to us on a silver platter, and instead we trade down for extra picks, and get less value in return than what we give. Moffitt will be a good fit, but we hugely overpaid to get him by passing on Mallett, and he wasn’t a need: we should have a good shot at Gallery, and Chris Spencer will be a lot less expensive than Asomugha, and play well for longer. Why doesn’t PC give Spencer any credit? He had a very good year and his position should not be a need. There could be 4th rounders who aren’t much worse than Moffitt.

    The fans say Don’t worry, Pete knows what he’s doing, but the other managers do too. I have yet to see evidence of his supremacy in finding late-round gems. The late picks I like from last year were the players that other teams rated highly, but fell bc of injuries (Thurmond) or non-sequiturs (McCoy). The headscratcher was EJ Wilson.

    The reason we didn’t have a third is we traded it, John, in the midst of a series of dumb moves: Josh Wilson, Rob Sims etc. Adjust the system to your talent, don’t try to fit a square peg in a round hole.

    And that’s what we just did. I know you have the sarcasm font up top, but I don’t feel that way at all. 7-8 value at a position that needs a high-end athlete, or 35-40 at a position a lot of guys can do. Possibly a 1-5 value in the SECOND. It doesn’t get much easier than that.

    New England and Baltimore did pretty well for themselves.

    I can’t remember a worse draft than this. We got ok guys, but paid way too much. PC and John really don’t look like they know what they’re doing.

    • Matt C says:

      PC has been known to take risks on players w/ off-the-field issues so passing on Smith has to tell you something. This kid may turn out to be pretty good but he could just as likely be the next Aqib Talib. Carpenter & Moffitt provide an immediate upgrade in a huge area of need w/out the off-field risk.

      • seatle says:

        Carpenter is a big upgrade, but my point is there’s no reason at all we had to pick him where we did. Comparable talent to Carpenter could have been had later in the draft, if the right guy was there, or better yet through free agency, and there are planty of dependable RTs available. Moffitt looks like he will replace Spencer, game-in game-out our best linemen last year. This is no upgrade. We decided ahead of time, and arbotrarily, that we’d go OL no matter what, and then we did that, twice. Day 3 we suddenly needed DB help, while somehow we didn’t on days 1 and 2. So we decided we’d go DB no matter what, and that’s what we did, 3 times.

        It could be a the right approach to building a good-but-not-great team. I can’t speak for everyone else but I don’t want Round 2, I want Superbowl. You’re not going to compete with Baltimore and New England if they’re picking Jimmy Smiths and you’re picking the James Carpenters. The plan must be tailored to the situation; instead of “well we just need a RT RT RT” I would call this stubborn, and the draft is too unpredictable to be stubborn.

        • Kip Earlywine says:

          From what I’ve heard Ted Thompson was set on taking Carpenter at #32. I’ve also heard that Baltimore and Chicago were considering Carpenter too. From the sound of it, if Seattle had moved down, they probably would have missed out on the guy.

  12. jhs says:

    If coach Caroll is looking to add athelicthism Buster Skrine CB Chatanoga 4.37 40 37inch vertical and owned the cone drills.

  13. Vin says:

    I really couldnt agree more with what you just said. But then again, what do I know, because Im just a fan. So all Im left with is having the proverbial ‘faith’ that the FO knows what theyre doing and hoping the guys like Smith, Kaepernick, Mallett…….the ones Id hoped we draft, crash and burn so that I dont feel bad that we didnt get them.

  14. Christon says:

    I’m interested in seeing if they take a developmental QB like Stanzi or McElroy. I know that McElroy doesn’t have the big arm but he is extremely smart, accurate and does an excellent standing in against pressure. Stanzi isn’t spectacular but I attribute that to conservatism which I think could fit well in Bevell’s offense. I don’t know if they will take a QB until the 5th round though because I really think the the front office is looking for players who could start next year.

    • Rob says:

      For me, McElroy is beyond developmental. He is what he is, a very limited physical QB who never showed any great accuracy in college. UDFA for me. Stanzi is a different matter completely and worth consideration.

  15. Michael says:

    If seattle really believed were needed to go get a qb they would have. But look at the simplicity of what they said before the draft “We believe in our scouts to evaluate talent and our coaches to get our players to work well within our scheme.” Carroll and co. are happy. The oline is darn near set for years on the cheap incuding gallery. Now they have lower cost skill position players they’re after and if we get two solid players out of 7 we have another great draft that has provided depth. How many hit and miss players do you want? Yes there are always stars we want on our team but what one player would fix our whole team? There is no one player to target that isnt a risk reward or selling the farm to get.

    • seatle says:

      I wouldn’t say we did it even remotely on-the-cheap. A first round RT is not low cost, and he certainly is more expensive relative to a starting veteran RT than Smith would have been relative to a veteran CB1. Lower-cost skill position players are generally lacking in skills or athleticism, and don’t fall as late in drafts. Lower-cost/Later-pick RTs and RGs are plentiful, especially when you’re zone-blocking.

      If we can get a hit-or-miss player and it won’t cost us much, we should always do that. Get Smith at 25 and the Carpenters will be there later guaranteed. What Superbowl teams pick RTs in R1? Superbowl teams wait to see who’s there before they make their pick.

  16. John says:

    I am underwelmed at best so far, but hopeful. Underwelmed can be good though. I’d rather be underwelmed than watch another Seahawk be on the biggest busts list. I believe we now have a good and well coached line from opening day. A good offensive line makes everything better, including defense. You have to be able to control the clock. The best defenses usually have a killer running game. Not that we have a good defense, but with a good running game, they would instantly improve. Get Palmer or resign Hass, run the ball, burn them over the top when the safeties cheat, and we can win 8-9 games with a couple key pickups in the secondary and depth at the d line. Still need a real fullback. That is just as important. Everyone mentions Hutch and Walt, but remember a dude named Strong. He blew up the second level. These next picks are crucial though, need to get Ballard then best db, or House then Beal, then get some speed (as PC put it) next picks, SS depth also. And a blocking fullback!

    • Don says:

      so winning 8-9 games is our goal for next year as Seahwk fans? Gosh I hope not. Mediocrity is the worst place to be as a team You are neither good enough to be in contention for a superbowl, nor are you in a position to obtain elite talent to improve. I am hoping for a 3-13 season so we can get the talent to be very good. I can be patient.